One confirmatory diagnostic test for hepatitis C is the Rapid Antibody Test (RAT). Since the symptoms of hepatitis A, B, C, D and E overlap, it is possible that a misdiagnosis will occur until a blood test is run for the type of viral infecting the system. The HCV Rapid Antibody Test helps detect the presence of hepatitis C antibody in the venous blood of the person.
A sample of blood is taken from the infected person and is put into a vial for chemical testing to check the presence of proteins that fight the hepatitis C viral. The good thing is that the blood is not drawn from the inner arm. The finger is pricked using a microfilm needle.
The test not only helps determine of the person is currently harboring the hepatitis C virus (HCV) or was infected with it at some time in the past. The HCV Rapid Antibody Test takes approximately 20 to 40 minutes to analyze for hepatitis C and is said to be 99 percent accurate. (Source: MedPage Today; Report Title: FDA Okays Finger Stick for Hep C Test; Author: Cole Petrochko; Date: February 23rd, 2011; URL: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/FDAGeneral/25027 )
Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had given its initial approval for the test kit in June, 2010, it was undergoing further testing and trials at the FDA and it was only given the green signal for its marketing now in March, 2011 (Letter of Approval from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf8/p080027s001a.pdf). It will market under the name of OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test Kit. This product comes from OraSure Technologies Inc., a corporation that develops easy-to-use tools for critical health care situations, such as HIV testing, substance abuse testing, etc.